How to Stay Sane During Self-Isolation
We’re going through some strange times right now, I know that it must be very hard for people to stay indoors all day during this period of self-isolation. Here are some suggestions that you can do to maintain some normality and keep yourself busy!
I started writing this list because I wasn’t copying well. Throwing myself into work keeps me sane but because I’m not leaving the house I found myself feeling really stressed and anxious. I hope this list can help someone else feel better!
(Obviously most of the things on this list isn’t relevent for parents having to juggle working from home and looking after their kids. I don’t know how you’re doing it all but well done.)
1. Create a morning routine
Now you don’t have your morning commute to deal with, try to take that time to create a morning routine to look forward to. Do proper skincare, use morning affirmations, reflect on how you feel about the day ahead, make a coffee and go sit with the cat. Write it all down, stick to it every day.
2. Shower as normal and get dressed
I’m sure we’re all been guilty of this when you know you’re just going to be sitting around the house all day. Getting a shower can make us feel human again when you feel a bit lost and getting changed into normal clothes makes you feel like it’s just another day.
(Obviously keep it comfy, why would you want to sit in office workwear all day when you don’t have to? That would be terrible.)
3. Schedule your day
Plan out what you’re going to do every day. Whether it’s work related or personal life if you plan it out you’re going to feel like you have more control over your time. Plus, you’ll make sure you can get everything done will time spare for personal things.
4. Stay hydrated
When you’re at work you’re probably used to taking sips of water all day, or at least you should be! I find I used to drink much more water at work than I did at home so it was a weird transition for me when I realised I was not drinking enough water. Keep filling up that water glass!
5. Eat regularly and have proper meals
Try not to keep working through breaks and lunch. Treat your day as if you were actually at work, set alarms if you have to and make sure you step away from your work space when you’re taking breaks. If you can’t get the foods you normally eat, try to work with what you can get!
6. Experiment with new recipes
Now is the time to try all those mad recipes you’ve seen on pinterest (subject to what you can buy in the shops of course). Or if you go shopping when the shelves are particularly empty, see what you can get and make a meal out of it. I’ve had some pretty amazing homemade turkey burgers on par-baked olive bread this past week for my lunches.
7. Do home workouts
Obviously, if you don’t normally exercise, this one really isn’t going to interest you. But, I would suggest that you at least move around a bit. You might not think so but going from your normal working day to walking downstairs and sitting at your dining room table is going to make a difference to your activity levels. You don’t want to feel sluggish and lethargic.
8. Stay in contact with people
Just because we’re social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be social at all! Pick up the phone, check up on friends, have skype get togethers and use social media for positive interactions.
9. Try not to obsess over the news
Pick one news type and stick to it. I prefer to watch the live conference every day to get the facts from the horse’s mouth. I’ve sometimes watched the news straight after it and they’ve skewed what’s been said. Try to ignore people sharing hearsay on social media.
10. Get some fresh air
Open your windows every day, go out in the garden when you have a cup of tea and go for a walk in a nearby park if possible. We’re still allowed to go outside, just make sure you keep your distance from others and avoid gathering in groups.
11. Practice meditation
This is so beneficial if you’re feeling worried or anxious about everything that’s going on right now. Personally I used headspace and I believe it’s worth the subscription fee, but I know a lot of people use apps like calm which is free.
12. Try journaling
Journalling is an excellent form of self-reflection and finding gratitude in difficult times. I personally used to journal a lot more than I do now and I hope to pick up the habit again. If you’re not sure what to write, I find morning pages the easiest. It’s just a case of writing a set amount of pages and letting it flow. Alternatively, I’ve found these journal prompts really useful.
13. Make time for self-care
I’m talking self-soothing style self-care. Take a long shower, do your hair, do your nails, put on a face mask, moisturise your whole body, go to town with one of those weird ped-egg things on your feet. Pamper yourself! Why not?
14. Have a clear-out
One of the things I’m looking forward to the most is getting rid of loads of stuff I’ve accumulated! Go through the crap in the spare room wardrobe, clear out your loft, get rid of those clothes that you’re never going to wear.
(I know right now charity shops aren’t open, and that’s always my first port of call when I’m getting rid of clothes. I never like to throw them away! It might be worth seeing if you can find a good home for your unwanted clothes rather than adding them to landfill. Or find a local textiles bin)
15. Read more
I’ve got a book list as long as my arm but I always seem to struggle with making time to just sit still and read. I’m obsessed with self-help style fiction books and always get inspired when reading them so I think I need to devote myself to getting through my list.
16. Create a bedtime routine
Just like your morning, have a plan in place for how you’re going to wind down so try not to binge on Netflix too late. Your evening routine could involve things like a cup of chamomile tea, reflecting on your day, spending time with your partner without your phone, reading or planning out the next day.
17. Maintain normal sleeping patterns
Although it’s tempting, particularly if you’re able to get up much later now you don’t have to do your morning commute, try not to steer away from your normal sleeping patterns. The length of a good night’s sleep differs from person to person but I would recommend using a sleep cycle calculator.
Put in your suggested bed time or wake up time and it will calculate and suggest various blocks of 90 minute sleep cycles plus the average time it takes a person to fall asleep. Try this one out.
18. Separate your work vs home life
If you haven’t got a home office or desk then the liklihood is you’re going to be camped out on your dining room table. What you want to make sure of is that your table is cleared at the end of your working day or you eat your dinner somewhere else.
Try to work in a space where you’re surroundings won’t distract you because it will hinder productivity.
If you’re self-employed or (if you can take the odd break from being online and your employer won’t notice) I’d suggest working in pomodoros.
This technique allows you to switch on when it comes to getting to work but also gives you a quick break to get some mental space, I’d highly recommend it.
19. Learn something new
Want to learn a new language or learn how to knit? Well now you can spend your weekends doing just that.
With the amount of apps, online courses and even free videos available to you, you can teach yourself tonnes of things.
20. Remember that we'll get past this
When all else fails, remember that this is tempoary. We won’t be in this situation forever. The most important thing to consider is following the guidelines of social distancing as to not make this any worse than it already is.
No one alive right now has experienced a world wide illness such as this so no one really knows how to handle it. Just take things one day at a time.
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